Yamagata Alitomo

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Prince Yamagata Alitomo
Prime Minister of Japan: 3rd, 9th
Political Party: none
Date of birth: Tempò 9, Sañgaçu 17
April 22, 1838
Place of birth: Txòxù-han (modern-day Yamagutxi Province)
Date of death: Taixò 16, Djùnigaçu 28
February 1, 1922
Place of death:
Profession: Politician, general

Prince Yamagata Alitomo was an influential politician of the Meidji era, and Prime Minister twice (3rd and 9th Prime Minister). He was the first Prime Minister under the Meidji Constitution. His forces, armed with modern weaponry, defeated a rebellion led by Saigo Takamori in 1877. He was a talented garden designer and today the gardens he designed are known masterpieces of Japanese style gardens.

Terms as Prime Minister

  • 3rd: Meidji 22, Djùitxigaçu 20 - Meidji 24, Sañgaçu 31 (December 24, 1889 - May 6, 1891)
  • 9th: Meidji 31, Djùgaçu 4 - Meidji 33, Cugaçu 5 (November 8, 1898 - October 10, 1900)

Yamagata was born to a low-ranking samurai family in Hagui, the capital of Txòxù-han (modern-day Yamagutxi-quen), the same town that Itò Hirobumi hailed from. He fought in the Bònin War against the Bacufu forces.

In 1869, he went to Europe along with Saigo Çugumitxi to study European military systems. Returning in 1870, he set about modernizing the Japanese army, modelling it on that of Prussia. The army began a draft that same year. He drafted Meidji's Imperial Rescript for Military Forces, which provided the moral code for the Imperial Army and Navy, with modifications, to this day.

In 1883, he was appointed Lord Chancellor, the highest position in the bureaucracy at the time. He suppressed the Free Democratic Movement, and established the modern administrative structure of Yamato and Ezo (minus the region divisions of Yamato).

He served as Prime Minister twice under the Meidji Constitution, and in 1891 was given the title guenrò (elder statesman).

During the Sino-Japanese War, he served as Supreme Commander of the First Army, and during the First Russo-Japanese War, he served as Chief Officer of the General Staff Office in Tòquiò

Preceded by: (first term)
Curoda Quiyotaca
Prime Minister of Japan
Succeeded by: (first term)
Maçucata Masayoxi
Preceded by: (second term)
Òcuma Xiguenobu
Succeeded by: (second term)
Itò Hirobumi